Twitterage

I spent much of last week in Edinburgh for the JISC Conference, of which maybe more later. JISC has a heavy communications component and strongly encourages 'amplification' of conference activity through blogging, Twitter, video streaming, and so on. This might be one reason that discussions about Twitter are what I most remember of the event, partly because of the occasional questions about level of use from speakers or exhortations to participate.

It polarized somewhat: a familiar complacent cliquishness at one end and a defensive affected incomprehension at the other. I didn't sense that this was generational, but there did seem to be a managerial gap, with 'senior' people often towards the latter pole.

Incidentally, proposals to overhaul the primary (aka elementary) school curriculum were leaked while I was there. Twitter was central to the coverage .....

Children will no longer have to study the Victorians or the second world war under proposals to overhaul the primary school curriculum, the Guardian has learned.
However, the draft plans will require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia and give teachers far more freedom to decide what youngsters should be concentrating on in classes. [Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary shake-up | Education | The Guardian]

JISC09

Comments: 2

Mar 30, 2009
Owen Stephens

I'd agree with your impression that there was a managerial gap in the online participation. (incidentally something that has also struck me in terms of the responses Peter Murray Rust's recent blog posts for the Libraries of the Future debate - http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/blogs/murrayrust/)

Unfortunately excellent thought the closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh was, I suspect his enthusiasm for twittering (and almost explicit criticism of those not engaging in this way) served to polarise the groups still further.

We need to strike a balance here - I don't think everyone has to blog, twitter or otherwise actively contribute to the online debate - but I do think that you ignore it at your peril - we need to ensure that not wanting to take part personally isn't the same as dismissing it as worthless - and vice versa those who like to participate online need to understand that not everyone will contribute to a discussion, and that's OK.


Mar 31, 2009
Lorcan Dempsey

Owen - I suppose I was thinking less of actual participation than attitude.